The city of Prague simple glows during the sunset hour.
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I was in Prague at the end of September of this year and I thought that it would be a great time to go as the city is usually packed with tourists in the summer. Well it wasn’t as quiet as I had hoped. The city (especially the old city) was teeming with people.
I mean really, who can blame them, Prague is an incredible city and once you get past the beauty of it you can then dive into its history but I’ll leave that for another post.
My husband and I walked across the Charles Bridge and found a small restaurant where we stopped to have lunch. While he was paying the bill I did what I do best, explore with camera in hand. I came across this small street and to my amazement it wasn’t packed with people.
This was such a great scene, the light, the shadows, the beautiful building at the end of the street. I knew then that this would be a good image to do a little digital painting with.
I processed this in Lightroom then brought it into Photoshop and used Topaz Impression to create the final image. Don’t forget you can get 15% off any Topaz Labs product with the code ELPHOTO.
This young person was biding their time on a small street in Old Havana and today so am I. Tomorrow I head out to Nashville for Imaging USA. I’m very excited and plan to make good use of 3 days of seminars and learning the business of photography.
Have a great weekend everybody and I’ll tell you all about it when I return.
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Given my history you didn’t think I could walk by a bicycle and not photograph it…did you? Found in Havana.
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The architecture in Havana comes in all shapes and sizes from Neoclassic, Baroque, Art Deco, Eclectic to Modernism. While parts of the city are in a state of deterioration one can see that restoration of historic buildings has and is taking place.
One of the best examples of Art Deco is the Bacardi Building. The building was built-in 1930 for the Bacardi Rum company which had its origins in Cuba.
In October 1960 Cuba’s revolutionary government seized control of all foreign owned and 400 Cuban owned companies and property including The Bacardi Rum Company. Before army officers were able to get to the Bacardi facilities the family destroyed the secret yeast strain they used to make their rum.
Anticipating that the tides were turning in Cuba, the Bacardi Family had already set up distilleries in Mexico and Puerto Rico and offices in the United States. With the Bacardi Company’s exile from Cuba, it forced the family to regroup and plan its future and it set up a new centre of operations in the Bahamas. Within 20 years of the loss of its assets in Cuba, Bacardi rum became the world’s leading premium spirit brand.
After the revolution the building continued to be used as offices. In 1990 a major renovation and restoration was undertaken by the City Historian’s office.
We also went up to the roof of the building to enjoy the view of Havana.
I walked by this building in Old Havana and just loved the way the shadows were falling against it and how it brought out the pastel colours.
After some minor processing in Lightroom I used Topaz Impression to give this building the artistic flair it deserved.
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I don’t know what it is, but when handholding my DSLR, often times my horizon isn’t straight. I don’t know maybe I’m a little off kilter 🙂 In any case in a lot of shots I have to straighten my horizon in post. The other problem I sometimes face when shooting buildings is that the perspective is off and the building looks like it’s leaning backwards. If I had a Tilt Shift lens I could take care of that problem in camera but alas I don’t. This is where the Lens Correction panel in the develop module in Lightroom 5 comes in.
I have to say that LR5 has become not only an organizational and cataloguing tool for my image library but my go to post processing software as well. The power of LR5 never ceases to amaze me. I would say that 85% of my images are processed in Lightroom alone and I only use Photoshop now for detailed cloning work.
The image below was taken while I was walking around Rome. This is the original RAW file, straight out of camera.
As you can see it needs some work. Not only is the building leaning a bit sideways but it’s also leaning back. I first used the “Level” tool in the Lens Correction panel then the “Vertical” tool to straighten the building. Then I opened up the shadows which brought back all the detail inside the windows and the tables of the restaurant. I then increased the clarity and vibrance slightly, made some adjustments with the Luminance sliders in a few colours and added a bit of detail.
Here you have it…the final image. Click on the image to enlarge.
Don’t you wish Pharmacies in North America looked like this. I came across this little gem in Pienza.
Paris is a beautiful city and history permeates on every street as well as these beautiful “photograph me” scenes.
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Here’s another image of the Flatiron building in Manhattan and as the title suggests it’s located on 5th Avenue. I wanted to give this image a vintage, turn of the century postcard look keeping with the 1902 date of completion of the building. The gold street clock has been there since 1909 and I wanted to go back in time (no pun intended) to what a photograph might have looked like if it was taken back then.
I converted the image to monochrome using OnOne’s Perfect Black and White and then Perfect Effects for the postcard border.
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Here’s another extraordinary piece of street art from my time in Manhattan. This one was in Little Italy and before you ask I didn’t “almost” miss this. This beauty caught my eye right away.
I used Topaz Detail to bring out bit of the detail in the brick and adjust the saturation on each colour (individually) in Photoshop. Don’t forget you can download a free trial of any Topaz Labs product and use the code ELPhoto to save 15% off the regular price.
Click on the image for a larger view.
Walking through Soho one day I almost missed this mural. Can you imagine? I was talking and not paying attention but luckily, as I was about to cross the street a car was coming through the intersection which made me stop. When I looked across the street this is what I saw.
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I also wanted to let you know of new ebook by Ian Plant and it’s absolutely free to download. Costa Rica – Wonders of the Osa is a 40 page ebook showcase the beautiful forest wildlife of the Osa Peninsula. Click here to download this free ebook.
The Dreamscape team has also recently released The Complete Lightroom Workflow tutorial. This series of 18 video tutorials is over 3 hours long by Dreamscapes blogger Kurt Budiger will show you how to use Adobe Lightroom 5 to unlock your photos’ hidden potential. Kurt takes the mystery out of this powerful program. He leads you
through his personal workflow, taking you every step of the way—from importing media through organizing and editing images, applying common adjustments, synching your settings across images, and exporting to Adobe Photoshop. And as an added bonus, he provides you three case studies from his own images, explaining the aesthetic decisions he made in processing each image. The normal retail price of the videos is $29.95, but use discount code Darkroom1 to get $3 off! Click here to purchase or download a free sample.
I hope you all had a terrific weekend. Apologies for not being around much last week but its been a busy time and this weekend was taken up with getting ready for the exhibition. The opening night reception is this coming Thursday and I’m very excited and even a bit nervous. We hung all the pictures on Sunday and it was thrilling seeing everything up on a wall. I’ll share some images with you of the show at the end of the week.
Today’s image is an iconic building in Manhattan, the Flatiron Building which is located on 5th Ave. When it was completed in 1902 it was one of the tallest buildings in the city.
Click on the image to see an enlarged version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.